• Published 28th Dec 2018
  • 2,544 Views, 99 Comments

With Celestia as My Witness - Irrespective



Young Stone Spring discovers that asking for the Princess to be his witness leads to some unexpected and peculiar results.

  • ...
2
 99
 2,544

Reconciliation

Stone Spring gave his bed a nudge to the left. He took a step back, eyed the new position, and then gave his bed a bigger nudge.

He then nodded to himself. A perfectly squared bed, placed in the exact center of the room.

Stone was really that bored. It was bad enough that he had emptied the boxes with his books and sorted his meager collection by author, by title, and then by color. He had moved his waste basket to the left side of his desk - a rather bold and innovative move, if he did say so himself - and he had made sure the curtains on his window were operating within normal parameters. Having now completed the epic Moving of The Bed, there was little else he could do.

There were two options that he was left with in his own mind. On one hoof, he could undertake an intensive reread his favorite book, but Hamster Huey and The Gooey Kablooie did tend to become dull when it was read four or five time in succession.

The option on the other hoof both frightened him slightly, and held the greatest potential for fun. On his way home from school, he had happened upon a nearby park, and from his first impression, it was one of the finest parks he had ever seen. There were several corkscrew slides, an impressive and towering jungle jim, some trapeze rings and a few seesaws, a swing set that had to be at least twice the size of his house, some rope ladders and a zip line, and even a small stream filled with little fish, as the icing on the cake.

He wanted to go explore the potential of this grassy garden, but it just wouldn’t be the same without a friend. By himself, the saws would only see, the swings would be underutilized, and the jungle gym would be not much more than a lonesome tower from which he could peer out upon the world. He could ask Berry or Sweet, but they had mentioned they needed to work on a science project together that afternoon.

There was another pony he could ask, but he feared the response he would get, and the repercussions of so doing. It had been years since his father had joined him at any playground, and Stone was sure that the status quo would remain in place.

But he was really bored, he was going a bit stir crazy, and he felt a small trickle of warmth in his chest when he thought of the last time his father had accompanied him to a park. He was sure that he was going to end up meeting Nightmare Moon if he had been pushed any higher, and he always remembered the game of catch they had played right at sunset with deep reverence and happiness. Maybe, if he reminded his father of that time, he would be a little more willing to go out with him tonight.

With his mind halfway settled on the matter, Stone made the long walk down the stairs and towards the front room, and he found his father in the overstuffed chair, reading the paper and making thoughtful noises to himself.

Stone approached, stalled, retreated a step, and somehow talked himself back into asking. “D-dad? Can I ask you something?”

“Sure, bucko. What is it?” his father asked without missing a line in the news article.

“Well, there’s a playground over … I mean, it’s just a few streets away, not too far, and I was wondering if … I mean, you don’t have to, but I thought, maybe …”

Stone’s father glanced up from his newspaper, but his gaze went to a picture that had recently been hung on the wall. Stone knew it all too well - it was a picture of his mom, his dad, and him in the backyard of their home in Canterlot, and all three of them were mugging for the camera without a care in the world.

“Why don’t you go check it out, eh?” Stone’s father said in a soft tone. “I bet there’s some kids there your age who would love to play.”

“Yeah, I guess,” Stone whispered to the floor. “But I didn’t … I mean, I don’t know if it’s safe for me to be without an adult, and …”

“You’ll be fine,” Stone’s father said after a moment. “This is a safe neighborhood. Go on, go have some fun. I’ll get started on dinner while you’re gone.”

Stone nodded weakly and turned to the door. “O-okay, then. Thanks.”

“Be back by sunset, all right?”

“Sure thing.”

~*~

Stone stared at the wood chips beneath his hooves while he gently rocked in the swing. The playground had been lightly occupied when he had arrived, but even those few ponies had headed home for dinner shortly after his arrival, leaving him alone with his own feelings.

This had been a mistake. Without his father there, and with no other distractions, the nightmarish memories had begun to flood his mind, leaving him with a deep void in his heart and mired in a futile battle against an onslaught of tears.

It was his fault.

“With Celestia as my witness,” Stone murmured to the ground. He then hopped out of the swing, but he remained still and stared at his hooves for several minutes.

“I know I said I wouldn’t summon you again, Princess,” Stone finally said to the ground. “But I really do have something for you to witness this time.”

“Very well,” Celestia’s voice came from behind him. “What is it?”

“My confession,” he whispered. “Princess, I killed my mom.”

“I doubt that you could ever be guilty of such a heinous crime,” Celestia replied. “Why do you think you are responsible?”

“Because if it wasn’t for me, she would still be alive.”

~*~

“You’ll never catch me, Mom!” Stone shouted while he took off across the grassy field, zigging and zagging as he heard his mother laugh and swipe at him with her hooves. The other families at the park had already packed up and returned to their homes while the Weather Patrol had begun to piece together that afternoon’s rainstorm, but Stone had managed to convince his mother to stay for just a few more minutes. The rain had begun while they were playing, but Stone didn’t care about how wet he was getting. Tag was his all-time favorite game, and he was having far too much fun to quit now.

“Oh!” Stone’s mom slowed, then stopped to catch her breath. “You little monkey! You’re too fast for me! You win, you win!”

Stone cheered, but he gave his mom a quick hug while she smiled and stroked his sopping wet mane. “You did good too, Mom. Maybe next time you’ll catch me.”

“I hope so,” she said with a short laugh. “But I think we need to head home now. It’s getting late, and we’re both soaked to the bone.”

“Aw! Do we have to?”

“We can come back tomorrow after we go to the market,” Stone’s mom replied. “C’mon. I’ll run a nice hot bubble bath for you and get some bread going. When your father gets home, we’ll be ready for dinner, and maybe after that we can read a book together.”

“Okay,” Stone replied with a chipper smile. “Can I have extra butter on my bread?”

“Did you brush your teeth this morning?”

Stone flashed a wide, toothy grin. “Sure did! See how white they are?”

“They are indeed! I think a charming young stallion who brushes his teeth can have some extra butter.”

Stone cheered, and with a hop and a skip, he took off towards home with his mother. They only managed a few paces, however, before Stone’s mom suddenly stopped, gasped, and put a hoof to her chest.

“Mom?” Stone quickly backtracked and watched his mother with deep concern boiling up inside of him. “You okay?”

“I think so. I might have run just a bit too much back there. It’s okay, though. I’ll catch my breath once we get home.”

Stone didn’t prance ahead as they began again. He stayed right by his mother’s side, and his own heart began to pound when he felt his mother stagger and limp her way forward. “Mom?”

Stone’s mother gasped, gagged, and then collapsed to the ground, despite Stone’s cry of alarm and his efforts to catch her. She began to wheeze and huff while Stone repeatedly asked what was wrong, and it took her a moment to find her voice.

“Go get help, please. I think … I might …”

Stone staggered back a step as his mother’s breathing became shallow, rapid, and raspy. He tried to force his hooves to move, but he was scared and he didn’t want to leave his mother alone.

But when his mother’s breathing stopped, Stone began to scream.


“Some of Dad’s coworkers heard me and rushed to help,” Stone said. Large tears rolled down his cheeks and plopped around his hooves, but he didn’t care. “They just happened to be walking by at the time. They took her to a hospital, but she never woke up.”

“Stone, that was not your fault,” the Princess offered.

“Yes it was. We should have gone home sooner. We should have left when the rain started. I should have gotten help sooner.”

Princess Celestia said nothing, and for several minutes, there was nothing but silence.

“Dad blames me for what happened,” Stone finally added, while he turned and looked up to Celestia. “He never said so, but I know he does. He looks at me, sometimes, with so much sadness and pain in his eyes. Two days after Mom’s funeral, he packed up our whole house, quit his job as a guard, and moved us to Manehattan. He kept muttering something about there being too many memories.”

Celestia sat next to Stone, and one of her wings gently moved to envelop the troubled young colt in a reassuring hug. There was no reaction from the Bringer of the Day when Stone used her feathers to wipe away the tears in his eyes, but she did give him a warm smile when he finally looked up to her.

“Mom died because of me, didn’t she?” he asked in a very small and trembling voice.

“No, Stone. What happened was not your fault, and I also find it very hard to believe that your father blames you for what happened. Though I cannot say for certain, I would be confident in presuming that your father just doesn’t know how to overcome the grief he is feeling.”

“But he doesn’t feel anything. He was a Royal Guard.”

“The members of the Guard are still ponies underneath the armor and the helm,” Celestia replied. “They may not show their emotions outwardly, but they are still there. They laugh and they cry, just like you or I. They can feel anger, resentment, love, and pain. I think your father is trying to hide his feelings so that you will not be hurt. If he were to tell the truth, I am confident he would say he does not want you to feel sad about what happened.”

Stone shook his head. “I don’t think so. He never even told me what happened to Mom, other than ‘she got sick.’”

“Have you asked him about it?” Celestia presented the question with a light touch.

“No,” Stone replied after thinking about her question for a few moments. “I never did.”

“I think you need to talk to him. Tell him how you feel, let him know what is on your mind. You’ll find he wants to talk, but is unsure of how to start the conversation. Tell him to be open with you, to share what he is thinking. If you have to, tell him that Princess Celestia orders him to share his feelings.”

Stone chuckled slightly with the Princess. “I can do that, I guess. I’m sorry I made you come here for all of this, though.”

“One of the greatest parts about being a Princess is when I can help my little ponies. I want everypony to be happy, and I want to bring them happiness if I can. You need not apologize for this, Stone.”

“Thanks. I guess I should head home now, huh?”

Celestia nodded, and her wing retreated. “You can do this, Stone. It may seem impossible, but have faith.”

“Stone!” Slate Grey’s familiar deep timbre boomed across the park. Stone glanced to the west and gasped a bit when he saw the sun had been tucked into its bed behind the horizon, and he glanced back to Celestia in alarm, but he found the Princess had disappeared.

“Stone?” Slate crossed the playground with a quick trot. “What’s wrong? I told you to be back by sunset.”

Stone stammered, then looked up to his Dad with a mournful, shuddering breath. “I’m sorry, Dad.”

“C’mon, let’s head home. We can discuss it there.”

Slate began to walk away, but Stone remained where he was. “No, Dad. I didn’t mean that. I kinda wanna talk about this now.”

“About what, bucko?”

Stone fought vainly against his tears. “You know, you haven’t been to a park with me since…”

There was a pause. “Since Mom died,” Slate offered in a small voice.

“I know you’re mad at me, and that you blame me for what happened. I should have … It was me who … who …”

“Hey, woah. What happened wasn’t your fault, okay?” Slate moved back to his son and put a hoof on his shoulder, but Stone’s emotions had finally breached the dam he’d tried to construct around his heart. Try as he might, there was no stopping the swells of agony that manifested in temblings gasps for air and in sobs that were thicker than blood.

“Yes, it was!” Stone wailed. “Mom would have lived if I hadn’t kept her out in the rain in the park that day. I’m the one who made her sick! It was all me.”

“Stone, I need you to listen to me,” Slate said while tilting his son’s head up with a hoof. “You had nothing to do with what happened to your Mom. She had been sick for a long time, and we never knew it.”

“I miss her, Dad.” Stone willingly entered the embrace of his father, and he buried his face in his father’s chest.

“I miss her too, son.” Slate held his son tightly, and for a long time, the only thing that was shared was their mutual suffering. A warm breeze drifted across the grass and whispered a silent reprieve for a pair of aching hearts, and for a brief moment, Stone felt the love of his mother wrap around him once more.

“Why did she have to go?” Stone whispered.

“I wish I knew, son,” Slate whispered back. “I’ve lost so much sleep at night asking that very question. But, I’ve missed her so much that I forget, sometimes, that you miss her too.”

“Do you hate me?”

Stone felt his father’s chest heave with his gasp of pain. “Absolutely not. I haven’t lost her if I still have you, son. No matter what happens, I will always love you.”

Stone said nothing for several long moments. “Dad?” He pulled back slightly, and his father’s tear-filled eyes met his own. “Can we miss her together? Maybe it won’t hurt so bad that way.”

“I think that is a wonderful idea,” Slate replied with another enveloping hug for Stone. “I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you.”

“S’kay. Mom wouldn’t want us to fight,” Stone said.

“Your Mom was a very special mare. How about this?” Slate wiped the back of his hoof across his eyes and took a breath. “Let’s head home and open up every photo album I packed away. We can talk about the fun times we did have together, and about how wonderful she was.”

Stone sniffled, and for the first time in years, he smiled. “I’d like that.”

“Me too. You’re still in trouble for staying out past sunset, though.”

Stone laughed with his father, but then he pointed to the western horizon. “No I’m not. The sun hasn’t set yet.”

Slate turned, and a grunt of surprise came when he saw that was only touching the horizon, and it showed no signs of moving any further. “Well, that’s odd. I was sure it had set already. Princess Celestia must be running behind schedule today, eh?”

Stone smiled a little bit more when he saw Princess Celestia peek around from behind a nearby group of trees, her horn alight and a mischievous grin on her face. “Maybe. But I bet it’s for a really good reason.”

Celestia nodded and winked, and with a brief flash of magic, she disappeared. Stone then groaned when his father ruffled his mane, and with a chuckle, they set off for home.

“Dad, did you ever have the chance to meet the Princess?”

Slate nodded. “I met her once, back when I first joined the Guard. Would you believe me if I said it was a total accident?”

Stone nodded and giggled. “I think I could.”

Comments ( 38 )

'tis something that must always be remembered, talk to people. Never assume.

9377154
So very, very true. :pinkiesad2:

Okay... you made me cry. And then made me laugh. Bravo.

Dangit, now I'm tearing up and smiling at the same time. Marvelously done.

Can we have sequel of how the father met celestia

9377370

9377542
Thanks! :yay:
9377826
Maybe. Have to see what I can come up with. :twilightsmile:

Comment posted by Epicbattlefan deleted Dec 31st, 2018

First I would remark that I loved how this story progressed, content and all. Second, I would note that I smirked when I saw that Calvin and Hobbes reference in the final chapter. Excellent work, my friend!

9378372
Well, it appears to be set before Twilight was even sent to Ponyville, as one of the times Celestia was summoned, she was in the middle of teaching Twilight. So, at most, he could try Cadance.

hmmm, the paceing of this chapter is a 'bit' too fast it needs a bit more in the way of in between stuff, and descriptives, what does stone's room look like, how was the walk to the park, what does the park look like, were there other people there, what else did they talk about on the way home, was celestia watching from a cloud when they walked back into the house, smileing impishly?

also the reveal of stone's guilt could have used a 'bit' more foreshadowing,

9379249
Fie on your logic! Fie!

Princess Twilight Sparkle is known to time travel on occasion, and for something this important, she definitely would! :rainbowlaugh::rainbowwild::pinkiehappy:

:facehoof:

Hamster Huey and The Gooey Kablooie

CALVIN AND HOBBES REFERENCE!!!

9380361
Couldn't really find it, but I think it was a story with Discord where I think you say a phrase similar and he appears

You really know how to write children. This was a nice story.

I have to say, Celestia really steals the show, though! :)

9399331
That she does. :trollestia:

Glad to hear you enjoyed the story! :yay:

All hail the almighty Bed! It's okay, I worship it sometimes, too. :rainbowlaugh:

9380379
Hmm. I'll have to work on that. I do struggle with serious subject matters like this.

reread his favorite book,

of his

This was a nice read, thanks for the story!

9493453
You are most welcome! :yay:

I feel I must apologize. I was trying to read your story, which has been very heartfelt and touching, when suddenly I couldn't anymore! Someone had the utter, unmitigated to start cutting onions and I just couldn't see the words for a few minutes :raritycry:

Seriously though, wow, that just hit me right in the feels :fluttershysad:

9528825
I hate it when people start chopping onions at random times like that. :twilightsmile:

Glad to hear you enjoyed the story!

9528867
It's just so inconsiderate whenever someone does it, and always at the worst times :ajsleepy:

Oh, so it wasn't a dream. Well!
This was nice.

9555657
I'm glad to hear that you liked it. :)

You have quite soundly hit the perfect balance of being lighthearted while punching me in the feels.

And yet the tone seems consistent.

Very good job.

This made me cry a bit, thank you.

Ya know, I got so tied up with your... Major project I never really took the time to read what else you had in store.

I enjoyed this, both from understanding Stone to the very serious take on having one's god-leader be summoned as a common oath. What I hadn't expected was for this to be rated E and have the mother die in the story. The aftermath and grief was something established early on and is fitting enough for the rating, but the 'death' warning tag is only available once the rating goes to Teen for a reason.

Very deep, and very good.

The option on the other hoof both frightened him slightly, and held the greatest potential for fun. On his way home from school, he had happened upon a nearby park, and from his first impression, it was one of the finest parks he had ever seen. There were several corkscrew slides, an impressive and towering jungle jim, some trapeze rings and a few seesaws, a swing set that had to be at least twice the size of his house, some rope ladders and a zip line, and even a small stream filled with little fish, as the icing on the cake.

That should be jungle gym. Jungle Jim is George's cousin.

There were two options that he was left with in his own mind. On one hoof, he could undertake an intensive reread his favorite book, but Hamster Huey and The Gooey Kablooie did tend to become dull when it was read four or five time in succession.

Love how you added that Calvin & Hobbes reference there. :twilightsmile:

That was a good story.

Login or register to comment